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Darlington's Citizen's Advice Bureau in help appeal

An advice charity is appealing for volunteers to keep it going after losing £30,000 in funding.

Darlington's Citizen's Advice Bureau has asked for the community to "rally round" after the borough council cut its yearly funding.

It wants volunteers to give up two days a week advising people on debt, housing and unemployment, in exchange for the chance to gain a qualification.

Darlington Council must cut £11m from its budget over the next few years.

Darlington CAB said it dealt with 30,000 inquiries for help in 2011, a 20% increase on the previous year.

Spokeswoman for CAB, Neeraj Sharma, said: "These are very challenging times, when changes in benefits, overall increases in fuel costs, and extortionate interest on pay-day loans mean more and more people require good quality advice and information, which is free.

"We are committed to ensuring that all residents of Darlington - regardless of means or age can access our free advice services.

"Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau is calling on the 'Big Society' to help it with ever-increasing pressure on its free service."

No-one at Darlington Council could be contacted for a comment.

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